Monday, February 11, 2013

20 Things To Do During A Chicago Winter


Winter in Chicago doesn't have to be a lost cause - check out these awesome things you can do while sheltered from our winter wonderland.  And once you're tired from a day out and about, why not stay at Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast...eh?


  1. The Art Institute  - If you don't fancy the normal practice of museums charging exorbitant admission prices when you are already only pretending to like art, then you are in luck.  Free weekdays at the Art Institute for Illinois Residents until Feb 13th.  Not from this great state?  You can still get in free on Thursdays from 5-8pm
  2. Shedd Aquarium - Luckily, for as much money as teachers make, they are in no rush to bundle up 50 kids and truck them to a museum only to carry around their snowpants for 3 hours.  Which means less school groups, which means an exponentially more enjoyable experience during the colder months. Illinois resident? check out the list of discount days here.
  3. Ice Skating - Millenium Park is the most popular destination for making a fool of yourself with tiny sleds tied to your feet, but check out a few more options here.
  4. The Skydeck - The "Willis" (Sears) tower has a glass-bottomed ledge on the 103rd floor.  Perfect for a variety of things - torturing friends suffering from fear of heights, bringing a broom and pretending to be Harry Potter playing an urban game of Quidditch, or even proposing.  Yes, they make arrangements for those wanting to hop on the bandwagon of proposing to your significant other while they pee their pants out of fear.
  5. Signature Room at the John Hancock - Avoid the admission fee ($17.50) for the observatory and grab a drink at the Signature Room - just a floor or two away. propose here and you may avoid the pants-soiling atmosphere that you would get if you chose the skydeck instead.  
  6. Navy Pier Imax Theater - This way, if people ask if you've been to Navy Pier you can say yes, without having to suffer through the actual experience of Navy Pier.
  7. Garfield Park Conservatory - It's the best, it really is, just trust me on this one.
  8. Chicago History Museum - During summer months, there is no way you would think to stop in here unless to get some much-needed A/C - it's right next to north ave beach.  But in the winter-time parking is much easier, and you would do well to hole up here for a few hours and learn some stuff.  
  9. Museum of Science and Industry - See "Shedd Aquarium" - similar reasons to go during the winter season (less kids) - for a list of free days, check here.
  10. Birding at Montrose Harbor - Obviously Ray, the Avian-obsessed, made this a must have on the list.  Apparently there is decent birding near this beach at a bird sanctuary, and no, he will not count seagulls towards your life-list.  We've tried.
  11. Oriental Institute Museum - The most under-appreciate museum in the city in my opinion.  Small but extensive, it features artifacts from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Assyria, and all the ancient heavyweights.  Learn something.  Housed at the University of Chicago.
  12. National Museum of Mexican Art - Off the beaten path this museum is in the Pilsen neighborhood - somewhere worth visiting even if it's just because admission is FREE and you can find some pretty awesome authentic food in the neighborhood.
  13. Brew & View - If you want to feel like you're going out, but don't really want to do much, Brew & View is perfect.  Housed in the Vic theater in the Lakeview neighborhood right off the Belmont Red line El stop. $5 gets you a double/triple feature movie - that's about 83 cents an hour for 6 hours of second-run movies, sticky floors, uncomfortable seats, and most likely copious amounts of beer to get you through.
  14. Planetarium - Lots of discount days in the winter months and "Adler After Dark" is a nice alternative to the normal museum experience.
  15. Architecture Foundation - The tour guides know their stuff, even if that does make them a bit snooty, but they're the best at what they do and offer a range of tours, some safely sheltered inside for warmth such as the new Pedway tour - "warm walk, cool architecture"
  16. Theater - Book of Mormon - This musical just will not die, so it must be good. Lots of other stuff going on in the theater world here as well.  Want to see Mike Tyson in a one-man show? Yeah, we've got that (February 15th &16th only)
  17. Gene Siskel Film Center- Why ANYONE would pay $12 a pop to see Channing Tatum in ANYTHING when this theater is so close and so much cheaper I have no idea.  It may be a different story of course if Ryan Gosling is playing in a multiplex, obviously no one can resist that.  But the Siskel Film Center has a continuously impressive lineup of indie and foreign films, reasonable prices, and it's a nice venture downtown on a cold day, you only really have to walk a block from the heated train to the heated theater.
  18. International Museum of Surgical Science - Did you miss the traveling "Bodies" exhibit? This will be a nice substitute.  Sufficiently creepy i'm sure.
  19. Swedish American Museum - It's no wonder we have a Swedish Museum, a Ray's employee graduated from a Chicago university at which "Reid" was a more popular name than Ben and brunettes were the minority. Celebrate your inner viking at this Andersonville spot - and check out the neighborhood while you're at it, lots of good stuff.
  20. Brewery Tours - Many a Saturday could be well spent on a brewery tour at Half Acre, Revolution, Goose Island, Haymarket, and even Koval Distillery.  Warm yourself and whet your whistle.






1 comment:

  1. Other things to do in Chicago during winter includes visiting Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Lincoln Park Zoo and Millennium Park.

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